Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer

September 10, 2021 – April 10, 2022

Poster, Soaring to Success! Daily Herald—the Early Bird, 1919; Designed by E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954); Lithograph; Published by Daily Herald (London, England); Printed by T. B. Lawrence Ltd. (London, England); Courtesy of William W. Crouse. 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY

The largest-ever exhibition of works by graphic design pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954) traces the designer’s transformative role in integrating avant-garde style into modern life. Renowned in his lifetime as the “poster king,” Kauffer’s career encompassed all media as he relentlessly pursued innovation in the commercial arts. On view are more than 150 design objects, ranging from riveting posters promoting revolutions in transportation to book jackets and illustrations for the most influential publications of the time, as well as groundbreaking abstract designs for theatrical productions, carpets, film titles, and more.

The publication E. McKnight Kauffer: The Artist in Advertising is available at SHOP Cooper Hewitt.